An exploration of the Fallätsche traverse

Published by Stijn , 31 March 2014, 21h22.

Region: World » Switzerland » Zürich
Date of the hike:29 March 2014
Hiking grading: T4 - High-level Alpine hike
Geo-Tags: Albiskette - Höhronen   CH-ZH 

I first heard about the Fallätsche (alternatively spelled Falletsche) from a colleague at work, who recommended it to me as "a patch of Alpine hiking within the city of Zürich". The route of the "Fallätsche traverse" has been described on Hikr many times, including a six years old report in English by 360.

Update (11/12/2016): I have done a further exploration and discovered additional routes and (as recommended by Uto869 in the comments) the Alpinahütte. Rather than updating this report, I will refer to the incredibly detailed "Trampelpfade am Uetliberg" reports that Uto869 has published over the last couple of years, in particular the "*Fallätsche overview" and *his description of the traverse.

The Fallätsche traverse is currently in fairly good condition. On a few places on the internet I've seen it graded as a T5, but for me it's certainly not more than a T4. However, this comes with the following disclaimers:
  • T4 is still a real alpine hike and a completely different world from the busy paths elsewhere on the Uetliberg. Good hiking boots and sure-footedness is an absolute requirement.
  • The traverse is a no-go in the wet.
  • The route is liable to landslides, which could make the traverse more difficult at any time.
  • There is only one good route across the large landslide below the Teehutte. Crossing the landslide anywhere else will be considerably more difficult and risky. Have a good look at the photos attached to this report, so you can to find the correct route.
  • At one point, the traverse is protected by a little rope. If that rope gets damaged or removed for some reason, the traverse would get more difficult.

Having said that, the Fallätsche traverse is good fun! I actually did it twice in a row - once to just find my own way, the second time taking pictures and making notes for the annotated photos. The result is an annotated map of the Fallätsche. The numbers on the map occur again in the descriptions of the photos that follow. Hopefully this will help future Hikrs who venture into the Fallätsche to find their way around.

Apart from the challenging trails, an additional point of interest in the Fallätsche are the four different huts - each with a long history:
  • The Teehütte / Teehüsli (number 1 on my map) is the only one of the four that's open to the public, and this only on Sundays and holidays. It was built in 1909 and is run by the Alpenclub zur steilen Wand.
  • The Bristen-Stäffeli Hütte (number 6 on my map) was built in 1912. Bristen is apparently the last mountain that is visible from the hut above the Albis-ridge blocks the view. A major landslide threatened to spell the end of the hut in 2007. However, the Alpenclub Bristen has since been revived and is actively working for the preservation of the hut.
  • The hut of the Alpen-Club Felsenkammer (number 8 on my map, not marked on the SwissTopo maps) dates back to 1910. It has also seen its share of landslides and you have to cross some scaffolding in order to reach it.
  • The Glecksteinhütte (number 14 on my map) is hardest to reach of the four, situated on top of an escarpment above the Fallätsche traverse. Not much can be found about this one on the internet, except one source that claims that it was constructed in 1910 by Alpenclub Amicitia.

Hike partners: Stijn

Click to draw, click on the last point to end drawing


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Comments (4)

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Rhabarber says: Perfect Work
Sent 2 April 2014, 15h05
My favorite for the Hikr's «2014 best description award»! The trail was one of my projects. Now it's on the short list for this spring...

Stijn says: RE:Perfect Work
Sent 2 April 2014, 17h46
Thanks Rhabarber. Have fun doing the traverse, and let me know if everything was clear from my report, or if you still had any difficulty finding the route.

Uto869 Pro says:
Sent 13 July 2015, 12h45
Als einer, der viele Pfade in der Falletsche kennt und begeht (, mache ich Stijn ein grosses Kompliment für seine präzise und anschauliche Beschreibung der Traverse. Chapeau! - Mit Stijn bin ich der Meinung, dass die Traverse als T4 einzustufen ist, der Aufstieg über die Felsen am südlichen Ende eventuell als T4+. Was viele nicht wissen (und was auch in der sonst ausgezeichneten Karte von Stijn fehlt): Wenn man am erwähnten südlichen Ende nicht über die Felsen hochklettert, sondern in der Horizontalen weiter geht, kommt man zur fünften Falletsche-Hütte, der Alpina-Hütte. Zwischen der Hütte und dem Holzschopf zweigt ein kleiner, befestigter (Stufen, bzw. Überreste von Stufen) Pfad ab, der den Sandsteinriegel einfacher überwindet als die erwähnten Felsen. - Das von Stijn unter Punkt 12 erwähnte Seil hängt nicht mehr dort; dafür präsentiert sich der Pfad an dieser Stelle in deutlich besserem Zustand. Dafür hängt neuerdings bei der etwas ausgesetzten Passage von Punkt 15 ein hilfreiches Seil. - Jetzt im Sommer besteht eine zusätzliche Schwierigkeit: Das Gras steht an gewissen Stellen sehr hoch, und es ist schwieriger als im Frühling oder Herbst, die Pfadspur (und die Löcher) zu erkennen. Aber nach wie vor gilt: für den geübten Alpinwanderer eine ganz tolle Tour! Viel Spass - und Stijn nochmals danke! Uto869

Stijn says: RE:
Sent 23 July 2015, 15h49
Hoi Uto869,
Danke vielmal für deinen lobenden Kommentar. Diese Alpina-Hütte kenne ich noch nicht; muss ich irgendwann mal erkundigen und auf meine Karte einzeichnen.
Viel erfolg noch mit deinem beeindruckenden "Trampelpfade am Uetliberg" Projekt.

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